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Antifungal activity of citrus essential oil components in vitro and in vivo against penicillium digitatum pers. (sacc.)

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In vitro studies were conducted on 37 compounds present in citrus essential oil, to test their activity against Penicillium digitatum by three methods: agar diffusion, amended growth medium and vapor assay. The aliphatic alcohols 1-nonanol, 1-decanol and especially 1-octanol exhibited the highest activities, as assayed by all the methods used. The terpenoid compounds perillalcohol, perillaldehyde, citral, terpineol, carveol and citronellol, as well as the reference aromatic compound cinnamaldehyde also exhibited high activity against P. digitatum. Neither hydrocarbons nor esters inhibited this fungus. The mode of action of 1-octanol, perillaldehyde, citral, perillalcohol and terpineol against P. digitatum was fungicidal, whereas 1-decanol, 1-nonanol, carveol and citronellol were only fungistatic. Application of biocidal formulations comprising 1-octanol and citral either separately or together inhibited decay of P. digitatum-inoculated lemons for three weeks after inoculation.


Proceedings of the International Conference “Environmentally friendly and safe technologies for quality of fruit and vegetables”, held in Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal, on January 14-16, 2009. This Conference was a join activity with COST Action 924.


Antifungal activit Citrus Essential oil components Green mold disease Penicillium digitatum


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Universidade do Algarve